Listen to this piece read by the author

Then the drone came. A small personal drone. Hung at an
intimate height. Had
much to say. Hovering,
eye to eye, lurching &
chattering. Is it your time now, I thought. Thought
it said
you should have learned to
but came up
close, saw it was old, had been
patched thousands of
times, maybe more, was medalled with debris,
a tin castle, a wooden fish, a rattle – a plastic
clock w/one hand – piano strings w/hooks – a miniature
telephone pole – a brass
templefront & golden ladder stuck
in a tiny
well – all shaking the air – a tinny racket –
also scraps of veil – maybe tulle – seemed angry – one eye a milagro
hanging there sideways – a pair of
lungs or were those actual
air sacs & bronchial
tubes –
the red drops actual –
as if whistling or singing though we both were
silent. I have seen everything it said, though I could actually hear
nothing. Of the
old order, it said.
Hear the silence.
Underfoot the tree roots surfaced & ran across earth. I felt them
in my instep. All was
dry. Said I have seen good and evil, they cancel each other out till there is
nothing, love it. Said
there is not much left now you can
use, use being yr
thing. Leaves
blew across the path. The whole
path rattled. Could it be tanks I thought. But it was just wind. Just
wind? the wind said.
Air parted round the drone as it spoke.
We have killed &
killed, I am tired, I come from an old
way which will be disappeared
soon, ask why you are here,
people fought over me, it wasn’t me, I was always just
sadness – but they did not know
how much they would
everything they did –
everything –
a religion grown full of ending & empty of
time. Blue light
came up. My first were the Phoenicians it hummed
as it looked around to see if we would let it stay
here for a
Its engine idled.
A beautiful day on earth.
The dirt path rattled again. Could it be tanks after all I thought.
The wind moved the trees this way and that.
We are at peace here.
The great pulsation has passed, has it not.
How could I have imagined tanks.
It must have been construction trucks.
For the more.
More I hear in the rustling
as I keep going forward. More.
are you
at peace with

says the tribulation drone moving among the low
clouds faster now.
The limbs awaiting spring click & chuckle. An army of
migrating robins
lands on the field
as I go. Whose peace, it persists
as the sharp wind rounds the corner.
My path dips. The horizon threatens to dis-
appear, then it
disappears. Assume yr role the understories
whisper. What is it hurts you so. Do not be weak. An eagle whirls
in the updraft.
The abandoned wheelchair I always pass
is further overgrown with
vines. My shadow disappears again.
I prefer when it sticks around.
I eye the swift cumulus.
Why won’t it go on, leave be,
hovering again above me now, then
under. What was
happiness it asks almost grazing the exposed
roots. Someone must be burning
wood. I remember
what it was like to make coffee in the
mornings. I remember mornings. To fall asleep
for no reason
The water rose a lot that last year.
Maybe it would finally take the place of pain
we thought,
filling all our still-wild underground passages.
Give me back health I think.
Give me back the wisdom of not-knowing
Then here it is again, the trembling ground, the
sound of tanks, it cld be miles of tanks,
but no, it says, close yr eyes, let them come again, the fuel truck, the FedEx van,
the tree-trimmers arriving for the property next door –
listen, it says,
somewhere bread rises, somewhere a person is alone & checks
the time, listen, somewhere copper prices are being de-
termined, somewhere a decision is being taken –
what are they deciding I ask, trying not to hear –
the angel hovers insistently –
the trembling does not stop –
a decision is being taken re the
natives, the squatters, the tinkers, the renters, the
furloughed – some will be re-
moved, some get a
handout, we will have to see
which, some will be divided up & sold, some
will be weighed & their teeth
the power will be cut, or is it the paycheck
cut, the pages of the story
cut, or the hand
at its wrist, the tongue at its root – look
someone cuts in line –
hunger will
do that –
the trembling does not stop,
decisions are being taken,
a bid is placed,
a child is handed over now,
they turn the sound down,
you can’t hear the screaming
though u can see it,
they are skipping ahead,
the drone was right there I think looking around,
and also right
here. The trembling
reminds me
of what.
To whom do I report this.
To whom do I recount this.
Then mists come in. Settle. Months go
by. Eventually, close up, a red bud
whose name is long gone,
whose genus, species, variety lifted back off it,
grows gradually less
hard &
loosens &

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